Scholarly article on topic 'Sustainable and Economical Open-Ended Project for Materials Technology Course Laboratory Work'

Sustainable and Economical Open-Ended Project for Materials Technology Course Laboratory Work Academic research paper on "Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries"

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Abstract of research paper on Agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, author of scientific article — Roszilah Hamid, Shahrizan Baharom, Mohd Raihan Taha, Ahmad Afiq Abu Kasim

Abstract The laboratory work for Materials Technology course is a hands-on laboratory where the students do the actual design and casting of specified strength concrete samples. For the student to attain Civil and Structural Engineering program outcomes (PO) specified for the course, open-ended based project is proposed for students to be solved through laboratory work. The POs specified are: the ability to function effectively as an individual and in a group with the capacity to be a leader as well as an effective team member; and the ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyse and interpret data. This paper proposes new approach in handling hands-on Materials Technology course laboratory work by replacing the conventional concrete components materials with sustainable materials such as recycled aggregate and mineral admixtures as aggregate and cements replacement but still attain the specified concrete strength. The students are divided into groups of four to six and are only given the specified grade of concrete to be designed and cast but selection of materials are up to them to choose. The materials to be used should be sustainable such as waste products and recycled materials. They are also required to identify the necessary apparatus and prepare the methodology. The marks will be given based on their originality and creativity.

Academic research paper on topic "Sustainable and Economical Open-Ended Project for Materials Technology Course Laboratory Work"

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 60 (2012) 3 - 7

UKM Teaching and Learning Congress 2011

Sustainable and Economical Open-Ended Project for Materials Technology Course Laboratory Work

Roszilah Hamida,b*, Shahrizan Baharomb, Mohd RaihanTahab, Ahmad Afiq Abu Kasimb

a Centre for Engineering Education Research, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia b Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

Abstract

The laboratory work for Materials Technology course is a hands-on laboratory where the students do the actual design and casting of specified strength concrete samples. For the student to attain Civil and Structural Engineering program outcomes (PO) specified for the course, open-ended based project is proposed for students to be solved through laboratory work. The POs specified are: the ability to function effectively as an individual and in a group with the capacity to be a leader as well as an effective team member; and the ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyse and interpret data. This paper proposes new approach in handling hands-on Materials Technology course laboratory work by replacing the conventional concrete components materials with sustainable materials such as recycled aggregate and mineral admixtures as aggregate and cements replacement but still attain the specified concrete strength. The students are divided into groups of four to six and are only given the specified grade of concrete to be designed and cast but selection of materials are up to them to choose. The materials to be used should be sustainable such as waste products and recycled materials. They are also required to identify the necessary apparatus and prepare the methodology. The marks will be given based on their originality and creativity.

© 2011PublishedbyElsevierLtd. Selection and/orpeer reviewedunderresponsibilityofthe UKMTeachingand LearningCongress 2011

Keywords: open-ended laboratory project; sustainable materials; recycled aggregate; mineral admixtures; economical

1. Introduction

Outcome Based Education (OBE) has been introduced in The Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia starting from 2005/2006 session (Mohd Jailani et al. 2006), which required students to be proactive and also innovative. Thus, lecturers are encouraged to apply innovative teaching methods such as project based learning (PBL), cooperative learning, active learning, capstone design and others. PBL is a one of the student-centred instructional method in which students learn through solving ill-structured problems (Barrows, 2000). The lecturers act to facilitate the learning process rather than to provide knowledge.

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +6-03-8921-6447; fax: +6-03-8921-6147. E-mail address: roszilah@eng.ukm.my.

1877-0428 © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Selection and/or peer reviewed under responsibility of the UKM Teaching and Learning Congress 2011 doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2012.09.338

Roszilah Hamid et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 60 (2012) 3 - 7 Table 1. Course and program outcomes for materials technology course and their assessment methods

Able to understand the characteristics of the concrete components , physical and engineering properties of fresh concrete, handling, durability, crack and failure and testing of concrete quality Able to design concrete mix proportion according to British DoE and ACI Method.

Able to understand testing of concrete components materials at concrete in the laboratory. Able to carry out testing of concrete components materials at concrete in the laboratory and able to report the test results and compare with the initial design value and discuss the results

Comprehension,

Application,

Analysis,

Synthesis

(Cognitive)

Psychomotor (Imitation, Manipulation, Precision)

Able to acquire and apply mathematics, science and engineering knowledge towards in-depth technical competencies in Civil & Structural and Civil & Environmental Engineering.

Able to plan and carry out experiment, and analyse and interpret data

Lecture,

assignment,

examination

Laboratory work project, Laboratory project report

The ability to apply engineering knowledge

1. Able to design experiment based on the research objective

2. Able to observe and gather data.

3. Able to analyse data.

4. Able to present data in graphical form.

3. Able to understand the

physical and engineering properties of all categories of construction materials including concrete, timber, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, polymer, asphalt, ceramic and masonry such as bricks, mortar, concrete block.

Cognitive

(Comprehension),

Affective

(Receiving,

Responding)

Able to communicate effectively, not only with engineers, but to the community at large.

Lectures,

project

presentation

1. Able to apply engineering knowledge

2. Able to convey ideas orally with clear

pronunciation, fluent, organized and with suitable tone consistently.

3. Able to give a presentation confidently and effectively with the aid of technology (language, symbol and visual).

To implement this method of learning in Material Technology course, open-ended laboratory project is proposed. Materials Technology course is one of the compulsory courses for Civil and Structural and Civil and Environmental Engineering programs at the Department of Civil and Structural Engineering (C & S Dept.), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The delivery methods of this course are lecture, student presentation and laboratory work. The laboratory work help introduces student to materials used in current construction industry. Nearly two-thirds of the

class topics focus on concrete materials. Table 1 shows the Materials Technology course outcomes linking them with the program outcomes and the outcomes respective assessment method.

The handling of Materials Technology laboratory work has been improved from traditional way (passive learning) to problem based learning (student-centered learning) as described in (Hamid et al., 2009). The next step, to include sustainable construction component in the course, open-ended project laboratory work utilizing sustainable materials is proposed as described in this paper.

2. Approach

The course outcome of the laboratory work is item number 2 in Table 1. Table 2 shows the detailed course outcomes to be achieved, the assessment indicators and the actual experiment to be done in the laboratory.

Table 2. Actual laboratory experiment to achieve course outcomes of Materials Technology course laboratory works

Course Outcomes

Domain Psychomotor

Assessment Indicators

Actual Laboratory experiment

1. Able to understand testing of concrete components materials at concrete in the laboratory.

2. Able to carry out testing of concrete components materials at concrete in the laboratory.

3. Able to report the test results and compare with the initial design value and discuss the results

1. Imitation

2. Manipulation

3. Precision

1. Able to design experiment based on the research objective.

2. Able to observe and gather data.

3. Able to analyse data.

4. Able to present data in graphical form.

A. Designing concrete mix using DoE and ACI Methods.

B. Testing of concrete components materials and fresh and hardened concrete:

1. Determination of specific gravity (density), percent absorption and grading of sand and granite aggregate.

2. Determination of slump of fresh concrete.

3. Determination of compressive, split tensile and flexural strength of hardened concrete.

The students (second year civil and structural engineering program) are divided into groups. Each group will need to determine the objectives and scope of the experiment conducted. They also need to prepare the methodology and apparatus required to run the experiment. Table 3 summarized the activities for the open ended laboratory project.

In this open-ended project laboratory work, students are given the specific grade of concrete to be designed and cast but selection of materials are up to them to choose. The materials to be used should be sustainable such as waste products and recycled materials. They are also required to determine the objectives and the scope of the laboratory assignment identify the necessary apparatus and prepare the step by step methodology. Each group is required to prepare a report on the above project and present the results. They are graded based on the originality of their idea, results and discussion from the laboratory assignment. Initially, the students would have faced some difficulties because they are not familiar with such laboratory assignment. Based on suggestion by the Chemical and Process Engineering Department (one of the departments in UKM) external assessor, Prof Colin Webb, the need of open-ended laboratory is emphasized to enhance independent learning and inculcating creativity and innovation of students (Webb, 2007). Thus, the C & S Dept. is proposing this open-ended laboratory project using sustainable materials through Materials Technology course.

By replacing the standard concrete components materials with sustainable materials, the course outcomes are still achieved through similar laboratory experiments except for using recycled materials instead of sand and granite aggregate. The assessment indicators are still applied in assessment of students' performance in the psychomotor domain.

Table 3. Steps in applying open-ended laboratory work using sustainable materials

Handling method

Student are given a realistic problem

Student activate the previous knowledge and realize new knowledge

Responsibility and direction of learning is held by student

Students are given task to design a concrete mix for a specific concrete strength. The solution requires the students to determine the suitable sustainable materials, water cement ratio, slump and wet density of concrete and finally they have to calculate the weight of the concrete materials. Then, they have to prepare their own mix. After that, they have to test whether concrete grade is equal to the grade designed. If the difference is in 5%, the objective is accomplished.

To solve the problem, the students have to make certain what are the parameters needed to come up with the designed solution. Students also are needed to search for previous researches done on the certain sustainable materials by other researchers and they are allowed to repeat the same experiment with local materials. The parameter such as the specific gravity of the recycled aggregate has to be obtained through experiment themselves.

The laboratory manual and lab schedule is not prepared for the students. The students need to book the laboratory before hand to do experiment (one particular day in a week) to solve the problem given.

Demonstrator/ lecturer facilitate the learning process

Demonstrator/ lecturer are prepared to guide the student.

Information digging from various sources and analysis needed to solve the problem

The students have to find the standards for the experiments and the information about the sustainable materials to be used by them. They have to understand the laboratory procedures before doing the experiment.

Student learn through team working

Good group will divide work equally among them.

Various knowledge and information is synthesized to come up with the solution

The learning experience is assessed

The values obtained are combined to solve the problem. If there's any value that is wrong / unobtainable, the concrete mix can't be designed and the problem is not solved.

A unique report for each group.

3. Discussion

It can be seen that the students will become innovative by producing variety of experimental materials and methods within the topic scope. For example, to make the concretes to have more aesthetic value, student can use recycled glass or ceramic waste as the aggregate. It is hoped that the student will not just gain the knowledge of sustainability, but also can apply it later on in their career. With this approach, student can be more open minded because there is no right and wrong method as long the objective is achieved. It is also to make the laboratory work more alive because students are required to fully understand what they are choosing as concrete materials. This type of laboratory work also prepares students to become more discipline and properly plan their work. To apply sustainability in the real world, student should be exposed to this concept from the beginning. Intrinsic motivation occurs when student work on a task for their own satisfaction, interest, or challenge. When students prepare their laboratory report, the examiner can easily detect if there is any act of copying. This is because every student should have a unique method and also a unique result base on their choice of materials.

The open-ended laboratory project promotes student inquiring minds. Asking students to share ideas with a partner or in small groups first, generates more ideas and makes the students feel more confident about sharing their ideas. They also can produce new concrete product by adding those sustainable materials, not just the ordinary concrete available. The suitability of using these minerals additions is well established in the world of concrete, and at the same time if some optimization of the concrete mixes with mineral additions can be done using some empirical relations, then enhanced performance of the resulting concrete can be achieved. From an economic point of view, use of industrial by-products at large scale is beneficial for sustainable development (Bilodeau and Malhotra, 2000).

4. Conclusions

The open-ended based laboratory project is the best way to conduct laboratory work for Materials Technology course. It creates more creative and innovative student and also promote long life learning skill. Whereas the idea of using recycled materials in concrete production was widely unknown only a few years ago, concrete producers now know that they need to change. The potential tools and strategies to meet environmental challenges can be summarized as follows: to replace as much Portland cement as possible by supplementary cementations materials, especially those that are by-products of industrial processes, such as fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag, and silica fume; to use recycled materials for in-placed structures, thereby reducing the amount of materials needed for their replacement; to improve concrete's mechanical and other properties, which can also reduce the amount of materials needed. At university level, through Materials Technology course, the opportunity to invoke future civil engineers awareness on sustainable construction, the proposed open-ended laboratory project can play an important role.

Acknowledgement

We would like to thank UKM for providing the research grant (PTS-2011-018 and UKM-0UP-NBT-28-131/2011). References

Barrows, H.S. (2000). Problem-based learning applied to medical education. Springfield IL: Southern Illinois University Press. Bilodeau A. and Malhotra V. M. (2000). High-volume fly ash system: concrete solution for sustainable development. ACI Material Journal, 97(1), 41-50.

Hamid, R., K. M. Yusof, S.A. Osman and R.A.O.K. Rahmat , (2009) , Improvement in Delivery Methods in Teaching Materials Technology,

WSEAS Transactions on Advances in Engineering Education, 6(3),77-86. Mohd Jailani Mohd Nor, Noraini Hamzah, Hassan Basri & Wan Hamidon Wan Badaruzzaman. (2006). Pembelajaran Berasaskan Hasil: Prinsip

dan Cabaran. Pascasidang Seminar Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran 2005, (pp. 54-62) Webb, C. (2007). Report of External Assessor for Biochemical Engineering Programme, Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.